Better decisions in America’s future

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:

● Sometime in America’s future, wiser heads will return to the concept of universal military service. Lifting “don’t ask, don’t tell” is an example of the public policy that comes when decision-makers have little or no understanding of the stresses of those on the front. In non-combat units, it’s manageable social engineering. While any love or sexual relationship is a distraction in non-combat units, it has the potential to change behaviors in ways that get people killed in front-line units. It’s no surprise that almost 60 percent of Marines objected to lifting the ban. Recruiting and retention are bound to suffer.

● Sometime in America’s future, too, we’ll come to realize that children aren’t play-pretties for adults who have run out of toys to buy, for celebrities who are making social or political statements or for young unmarried women who can’t come up with any other answer to the question, “Why did I get up this morning?” From conception, every child born in America has a right to a mother and a father in his or her life. That’s a pipe dream now, yes. But so was the idea that a majority of Americans would quit smoking.

● Before ObamaCare becomes central to our lives, pick any story on any topic related to government and read it for instruction on how well it manages its responsibilities. AJC headlines from a recent week: “Deportation cases backlog” with the subhead “Some court observers are doubtful new hires will have any effect.” Or, same day, “Special ed program lacks accountability, audit finds.” Or “More doctors could leave Medicare rolls” because of a dysfunctional reimbursement system. Government’s proficient at building roads and, when compared to our enemies, waging war. Or was until agenda-driven interest groups and politicians started messing with their heads.

● Nationally, the “Democrat” brand, as defined by Pelosi-Reid-Obama, has the brand-name appeal of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. The 111th Congress goes home having spent a year cramming through everything but a budget, in the process registering its lowest appeal in the history of Gallup polling, 13 percent. It’s no surprise, therefore, that some Democrats and Republican-turned-Independent Michael Bloomberg bemoan partisanship and meet to discuss a “No-Label” movement. When the brand becomes a liability, you drop it or change it — in the case of politics, to “nonpartisan” or “no-label.” It’s a movement to let wither on the vine in the new year.

● Another to let wither is the suggestion that Georgia abandon runoffs. When one party starts believing it can’t win a majority of the voters, the campaign to eliminate runoffs mysteriously rises anew, accompanied by much hand-wringing about “costs” to conduct runoff elections. We can afford honest elections and those that guarantee majority support.

● In the new year and with a new governor, Georgia should slow-walk the proposed “insurance exchanges” to be launched by ObamaCare in 2014. Do nothing concrete until after the 2012 elections. Republicans, incidentally, should always be careful to avoid defining their tax collector for the welfare state roles as a call to perfect the machinery of Big Government. Business and Republicans can have one thing in common: They fight the regulatory state, but then quickly learn to accommodate it. That’s the real danger with ObamaCare.

As the new year dawns, be of good cheer. Congress is home.

99 comments Add your comment

jconservative

December 30th, 2010
6:40 pm

Jim while support your continued jabs at Obamacare I find it amusing that you never blast the Bush43 Drug Plan for Seniors (Medicare Part D). While Obamacare is, in my opinion a giveaway to the insurance industry, the Bush Drug Plan was, and is, a giveaway to the Drug Industry. Obamacare, per the CBO, will have zero cost on the national debt. Bush Drug Care, on the other hand, will cost taxpayers $10 trillion dollars in the next 20 years as the baby boomers climb aboard.

Obamacare no cost to the taxpayers. The Bush Drug Plan will cost taxpayers every dime of the $10 trillion in the next 20 years. Nothing in the Bush plan is paid for, it all comes out of the general tax fund.
Part D Medicare is the purest form of Socialism now in existence in the US.

But no one complains. I guess because it was a Republican plan and is therefore OK. Could that be correct.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

December 30th, 2010
6:41 pm

Good evening all. I respectfully disagree with our gracious host on the idea of universal military service. I cannot envision any rational reason to compel our professional military to deal with the worthless scum that comprise approx 15% of the population. Suggest instead we compel them all to serve an internship with a newspaper.

Government performs only three services well: (1) killing people, (2) removing freedom from individuals, and (3) expropriating wealth. ObamaCare will prove to be a three-fer.

Like “Socialist,” “Progressive,” and “Liberal” before it, “democrat” has now become an epithet, as it is now so closely defined by its policies. Agree on the argument on runoff elections, as well as “Missouri plan” judicial appointments. The only way the left can thrive is if the population cannot vote against it, or if it can conceal its agenda through buzz words like “hope” and “change.”

Rather than “slow-walking” insurance exchanges, I would suggest a strong bold action, such as permitting the sale to any Georgian of any health insurance policy legal in any other state. Let the market weed out the worthless, rather than giving that power to corrupt overlords.

khc

December 30th, 2010
7:56 pm

so if govt expropriates wealth, why does top 1% own from 45-50% of wealth…not doing very good job or do you think top 1% needs 99%…..

BitterEXdemocrackkk

December 30th, 2010
8:00 pm

the 111th Congress created MORE DEBT than the first 100 Congresses COMBINED!

Its time to OUTLAW the TWO most EVIL FORCES that control us, the democrackkks AND the republicannots. WHY should America continue to suffer at the hands of those who betray us?

old-timer

December 30th, 2010
8:39 pm

Happy New Year Jim..I applaud your uncommon common sense and will enjoy reading in the New Year. Few seem to have it anymore.

Swede Atlanta

December 30th, 2010
10:34 pm

Thanks Jim, I needed a good laugh but seriously

- Universal military service – Bingo
Neither Bush nor Obama have asked Americans to sacrifice anything (other than the fact that Bush didn’t include the wars in Afghanistan and his vendetta war in Iraq for Daddy Bush in his budget – kind of like how Republicans don’t see a need to fund taxcuts). If we are at war and there was universal drum-rolling applause that we are in a war against terrorism, then all should sacrifice both from their pocketbooks as well as from their children. Why should those that come from lower income families and minorities shoulder the human cost of a war that generates billions in profits on no-bid contracts for the rich?

As for Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell – this isn’t a social experiment. You dare to suggest that the service of Americans that happen to be gay or lesbian is open to your pathetic narrow-minded bigotry. The same was said when we racially integrated the military. The military was stronger for it. This will also be the case with don’t ask-don’t tell. And for those service members that don’t like the idea of serving with an openly GLBT person I say, don’t let the door hit you where the Lord split you. As long as the GLBT service member conforms his/her behavior to the Code of Military Justice this is just a red herring thrown out by the Xtian extremists. We need able-bodied and skilled personnel in our military.

- Nuclear Family
Jim, get over it. The 1950’s Leave It to Beaver world is history, never to return again. The American “family” has evolved. A child needs more than anything else someone or someones that love him/her, that protect him/her, can be counted on to be there. A child is much better off in a single-parent home or same-sex couple home if they get unconditional love compared to a hetero mother-father where the child is abused physically or otherwise.

- Government’s role in society
This will always be open for debate. There are some things that arguably only the government can and should do. But when we tinker with privatizing services such as running prisons or even mercenaries in war we run the risk that the profit motive will ultimately corrupt. I would much rather take my chances with Medicare when I retire than let a private insurer cancel me because my blood pressure is 10 points too high.

- Congress, not the Democrats brand is in decline
No doubt the Democrats took a beating in the midterms. That is not unusual but agreed it was more significant than in previous elections. But these are unusual times with continued high unemployment, two wars, etc. Congress as a whole is viewed as ineffective by voters. The Republican negatives outweigh the Democrats. But people want Congress to get something done. They hate the idea of the party of “no” which is the Republic mantra. That’s why the lame duck Congress is viewed by voters as a success. Both sides gave and we got some important legislation done.

- Runoff Elections
I agree, there is no need for runoffs. Further I suggest Georgia just have a Republic primary and declare whoever wins that as the winner. Georgia voters are incapable of seeing issues. They simply vote if there is an R or D by the name. R = God, Guns and Hate the Gays whereas D= socialist, taxes, satan. That’s what their preachers tell them and they comply. No need for critical thinking here in Georgia.

- Obamacare
Sure, let’s just let thousands of Georgians sit without insurance or access to medical care so you can have a little political theater.. You don’t care about ordinary Georgians that cannot afford healthcare. For you it is all about party politics. I would have thought would be above that kind of pettiness. I guess I was wrong.

Have a good one Jim. Watching the clowns under the Gold Dome and Orange Man in the House will be wonderful theater for those of us with a brain.

JimsSoDim

December 30th, 2010
10:45 pm

Jim is dense. Jim is dim. Lights out for Jim.

Evelyn

December 30th, 2010
10:47 pm

45,000 Americans die each year because they were unable to get access to health care insurance. Georgia slow-walked setting up a high risk pool for those deemed “uninsurable” (for any lame reason for those over 50 years of age), so slow, in fact, they NEVER set one up. One of the few states in the nation that some how never got around to it. How many died while Georgia “slow-played” their hand over the last couple of decades? Don’t know, but it is too sad to think about. Partisans playing politcal games, while innocent people die, just for the sport of it.

Chris

December 30th, 2010
10:57 pm

If the Democrats get rid of runoffs, maybe they can bring back the County Unit System as well. That worked pretty darn well for rural white democrats.

joeliberal

December 30th, 2010
11:20 pm

for the life of me i still dont see why conservative christians hate universal healthcare…why are they against saving lives of fellow americans?…they profess to love god but rather see people die than get medical treatment….JIM WOOTEN is a prime example of an ole angry white conservative that longs for the mythical “good ole days” of yesteryear

joeliberal

December 30th, 2010
11:22 pm

JIM,you’re just like an ole white conservative to say that legal bigotry is good for america. we know which side u would be on during the civil rights era…

get out much?

December 31st, 2010
2:58 am

Mr. Wooten, it appears that you have become quite the curmudgeon since you have retired. I am also sure that you will quietly decline using medicare to cover any and all future medical expenses since we know how much you abhor “government run” medicine.

Churchill.s MOM

December 31st, 2010
3:28 am

I see where Sonny has fired the honest men on the DNR and replaced them with more buddies. Jim, my father & Sonny once were freinds, now Dad hates him.

Raghead all my family is in Berlin Germany for a family wedding. It is really cold over here but the food is great. They are having the snow of 100 years so ever there train system is screwed up. After a 3 hour bullet train ride, I am sold. We are coming home tuesday, so I hope the NYC airport is cleared up.

Hope you and your family had a great holiday and your Son continues to do well in the Navy.

I am typng on a German key board so my spelling is worse than normal.

markandersone

December 31st, 2010
3:44 am

I dont feel like i should be forced to have health insurance, I think everyone would like to have health insurance if they could afford it. If you need affordable health insurance search online “Wise Health Insurance” you dont want to be with out insurance any time.

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
4:49 am

why would a so called christian like JIM want people to die than have universal healthcare?…nobody has more contempt for people than a right wing christians

BitterEXdemocrackkk

December 31st, 2010
5:16 am

…except lieberals …

Michael H. Smith

December 31st, 2010
5:26 am

Government should be limited to only do somethings. The private sector should be limited to only do somethings. What ever things remain to be done that neither government or the private sector should do, is left for us to do; either as an individual or collectively together as a group or groups cooperatively, as a Co-Op.

But Jim, please don’t tell any of this to those in our society who scream the loudest about “Freedom of Choice” on the myopic right or left. Especially when the issue is healthcare where all are at the mercy of government or a corporation, with no other choice.

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
5:28 am

rightwing conservatives love jesus but would rather people die than be saved through universal healthcare…

al greyson

December 31st, 2010
5:37 am

Like no one will ever die that has universal government healthcare?

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
5:42 am

JIM must miss DUBYA, after all he couldnt keep america safe on 9/11 when terrorists had him[BUSH] hiding like a a scared little child while thousands died….Because Bush was made a fool on 9/11, he tried to save face by attacking IRAQ for no reasons other than the WMD lie…yep thousands of people haqve been killed,paralyzed and crippled because of this lie…JIKM WOOTEN cabt stand seeing an intelligent black man as the president…

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
5:44 am

@AL

PEOPLE DIE IN HOSPITALS EVERYDAY…but they have a better chance of survival IF they go to a hospital….universal healthcare wont stop folks from dying….but a lot more will live if they have it

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
5:46 am

nobody wants limited government,,,,thats why the government gets bigger every year…no matter what party is in charge….

al greyson

December 31st, 2010
5:52 am

If only Lazarus had universal government healthcare maybe he too would be alive… Quick, call the messiah, Obama. He can resurrect him!

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
5:54 am

@al

sorry i dont believe in biblical fairytales…but i do believe in science..

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
5:56 am

if the goverrnment can give our tax dollars to ISRAEL to finance their government healthcare…why cant they use that money to take care of fellow americans

al greyson

December 31st, 2010
6:05 am

Universal government healthcare is a fairytale of biblical proportion, apocalyptic at best.

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
6:33 am

@al
no its not a fairytale…its the law…and vwhat objections do u have to saving peoples lives?…u get off on folks dying for lack of healthcare

al greyson

December 31st, 2010
6:58 am

Folks are dying with an abundance of healthcare. The only guarantee in life is death. For the moment the fairytale healthcare law is mostly ink on paper. The benevolent court may decide to send it through the constitutional paper shredder before the ink fully dries, saving us from the overreaching power of government.

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
7:09 am

@al

folks are dying because of lack of healthcare….whats wrong with saving lives…since u repubs brag about this being a christian nation, why would a christian nation let people die for lack of universal helthcare…..

Finn McCool

December 31st, 2010
7:21 am

You know, if having gays serve openly in the military is what destroys our military, then perhaps it isn’t as strong as we think it is.

Some just don’t think our soldiers can adapt to a changing environment. They want to hold their hands and make everything all comfortable for our fighters.

Maybe Jim can suggest we send baby-sitters with the troops going to war so they can get tucked in at night?

al greyson

December 31st, 2010
7:24 am

Folks die because death is apart of life, having healthcare will not stop death. There is no lack of healthcare, emergency healthcare is universal to anyone.

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
7:25 am

JIM is just a tried n true conservative….he thinks outright discrimination is patriotic

Finn McCool

December 31st, 2010
7:25 am

Yes, you can celebrate the passing of the 111th Congress, the greatest class in American history.

Led by a liberal woman! mwuahahahahahahahahaha.

No, you can’t have yer countray back. We liberals own it now.

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
7:28 am

@al

since healthcare wont stop folks from dying, i guess u and your family dont ever go see a doctor…lol…and emergency healthcare isnt the same as preventive healthcare….why do u want kids to die for lack of healthcare insurance?”.

Real American

December 31st, 2010
7:30 am

I guess they want to let this old senile man believe he is doing something constructive everyday.

al greyson

December 31st, 2010
7:39 am

Only government can guarantee everyone has the very best healthcare?

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
7:42 am

@aqi

no, the private sector can help too…it can be a team effort

Michael H. Smith

December 31st, 2010
7:49 am

If it is all the same to you two combatants I’d rather pick my own team of players that will decide how much government gets to play referee and how much playing field the private insurance companies, drug companies and the rest of the medical industry get.

carlosgvv

December 31st, 2010
7:54 am

If the politicans had any regard whatsoever for American military lives, they would have waited till these foolish wars were over before doing away with DADT. That they did not shows they are far more concerned with the perceved vote than lives. Fifty plus years of America dumbing down is definitely showing in our Congress.

Finn McCool

December 31st, 2010
7:59 am

ok, what is a private company’s objectives?

1) separate me from my money
2) find a way to do number 1 aver and over again
3) find a way to repeal those pesky laws that make them reveal that their products cause anal leakage and other “stuff”
4) maybe provide a solution to the health problem I’m suffering from….and that might not even be number 4

Yeah, we are in such better hands with private companies. Ever wonder why we are in the current cancer epidemic? Big big money to be made in treating cancer.

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
8:07 am

@CARLOS

gays have been waiting for decades…the time is RIGHT NOW, not later…

joeliberal

December 31st, 2010
8:11 am

next up; GAY MARRIAGE…LOL

Tired of BS

December 31st, 2010
8:37 am

Frankly I’ve had it with political correctness. I’m tired of minorities stealing from the tax payers. I’m tired of corrupt elected officials. I’m tired of apologizing for being a successful individual. I do not believe it is my responsibility to provide a lifestyle to undeserving leaches. I’m tired of supporting anchor babies. I’m tired of being tired.

ken R

December 31st, 2010
9:00 am

If anyone on here really believes that Obamacare will not cost us anything then I have a bridge i’d like to sell you, surely you can’t be that clueless.

Clanmack

December 31st, 2010
9:03 am

You say 60% of Marines object to lifting the ban-You forgot all the other services (Army, Air Force, the rest of the Navy, and Coast Guard) whose rank and file and leadership will accept lifting the ban.

The howling about Health Care Reform is a tempest in a “teapot.” We don’t have the best health care system in the world-just the most expensive. For every politician or right wing pundit who says we have the best system, I will show you someone who not only has great coverage, but who probably gets it free or at significantly reduced cost.

Mark these words- You will see many more ads for class action suits against Big Pharma. They have pulled way too many fast ones against the American population in their pursuit of blockbuster drug profits. All the hullabaloo over Health Care Reform obscures the criminal behavior of the large drug companies-they are poisoning America in general, not just the people but the environment. Congress has let them do this in order to stay in power. Just watch your TV for the commercials from law firms.

Peter

December 31st, 2010
9:04 am

A Better decision would be to impeach Sonny Purdue. The Oakywoods debacle is an amazing waste of taxpayers money.

The land purchase is a great idea, but in today’s market where every house in Georgia went down in price, the cost to Georgian’s is a SCAM>

Republican’s can talk saving money all they want, BUT it really is a Lie !

Bama Bill

December 31st, 2010
9:24 am

One of my wishes is that the Georgia Legislature with Senator Rogers leading can figure a way to cancel the abuse of Perdue and the Oaky Woods purchase ! That would be a good starting point – but I expect worst things from Deal and his dealers ?

howard

December 31st, 2010
9:51 am

I had not read your column in about a year. I’d forgotten how dated you seem….reminds me of elderly that remember the “good old days” of no matter what era, always about yesterday being better than today, people being better than today. Yawn.

howard

December 31st, 2010
9:53 am

I had not read your column in about a year. I’d forgotten how dated you seem….reminds me of elderly that remember the “good old days” of no matter what era, always about yesterday being better than today, people being better then than today. Yawn.

Rafe Hollister

December 31st, 2010
10:24 am

Jim, you are correct, we are on the wrong track. Government should have one goal, preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States. If the gov continues to try to be all things to all people (except the evil Rich), we will continue our slide into irrevelance.